We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Jennifer McMahon Quotes. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.
My grandmother was a psychiatrist and possibly the ultimate of all skeptics. But even she couldn’t explain the strange noises we so often heard in the attic.
I found many treasures in the woods over the years: shotgun shells, empty Colt 45 bottles, old railroad spikes, orange and black beetles eating a dead mouse, pebbles that looked just like teeth, old stone walls and cellar holes, a rusted out frying pan, the skull of a cat.
I have a pretty open mind about supernatural stuff – I do believe that there’s more to this world than what meets the eye.
I do believe in ghosts, or at least in some kind of persistent spiritual echoes of the past in certain places.
One exercise I always do when I’m getting to know a character is ask her to tell me her secrets. Sit down with a pen and paper, and start with, ‘I never told anybody…’ and go from there, writing in the voice of your character.
I studied poetry in college and for a year in an MFA program. As time went on, my poems got more and more complicated. What I was really trying to do was tell stories.
I think of setting as almost a character of its own, influencing the other characters in ways they’re not even aware of. So much of the success of a good ghost story rides on creating a creepy atmosphere; details of the landscape itself can help create a sense of dread.
I practically lived in the woods when I was a kid, avoiding grown-ups and my dysfunctional family, pretending I was half-wolf, a feral child who napped in nests made out of ferns, ate wild blueberries, and wove sticks and feathers into her hair.
Over the years, I have been a house painter, farm worker, paste-up artist, Easter Bunny, pizza delivery person, homeless shelter staff member, and counselor for adults and kids with mental illness – I quit my last real job in 2000 to work on writing full-time.
Some things, I think, like fairy books and secret doors, are only meant to be found by children.
You can have the greatest characters in the world and write beautifully, but if nothing’s happening, the story falls on its face pretty quickly.
I was born in 1968 and grew up in my grandmother’s house in suburban Connecticut, where I was convinced a ghost named Virgil lived in the attic.
All my life, I had this idea that if I could unravel the mystery that was my mother, then I could help save her. But it didn’t really work. We were close, but she struggled with mental illness and alcoholism, and it was rough at times.
Do me a favor – right now, today, start a list of all your crazy obsessions, the things that get your heart pumping, that wake you up in the middle of the night. Put it above your desk and use it to guide you, to jumpstart your writing each and every day.
I think we all have a kind of dark side, and that’s what keeps life – and characters – interesting. That’s one of the things that I’m drawn to write about again and again, the secrets we keep and how they shape us.
At the heart of every story is conflict – whether external or internal, make it a good one, and remember that this problem is going to shape your character, leaving her forever changed.
Poetry taught me a great deal about language and images, but when it came to plotting, I was stumped. It’s been very much a learn-by-doing thing for me.
I absolutely love writing about the things that scare me, the things that keep me up at night. I don’t quite know why. Perhaps because so many things do scare me, and this is my subconscious way of trying to exercise some control over things that go bump in the night!
In all honesty, I didn’t love reading when I was a kid. I’d rather be running around in the woods or doing my best to scare the pants off all the children in the neighborhood by pretending my house was haunted or making them play Bloody Mary in the bathroom.
I have a friend who calls me the queen of the nightmares because I’ve always had really bad nightmares. I keep a notebook by the side of my bed, so I’ll wake up in the night from a bad dream, and my heart’s pounding, and I’m really scared, but I write it down, and sometimes I get ideas for books that way.